MLA’s present: MLA Elsby, MLA Rendell and MLA Poole
During matters arising we reviewed the progress made in securing additional classrooms for the IJS. We are pursuing two options and are confident that classroom space will be available soon after the start of the term in September.
We then looked at the draft Government response to the report from the Public Accounts Committee on FIGs partnership with Morrison’s Falkland Ltd. This is a very detailed report. We have asked the Partnership Working Group to work with Morrison’s to enact the changes recommended by the PAC and have asked for a report back to EXCO in October. The FIG response to the PAC report will be taken to Legco in August.
We looked at a paper from the Head of Policy into disposal of Government land in the Gordon Lines area. People will be aware that there has been an interim policy in place that was agreed in mid-2013. Members agreed on update to that interim policy. Land in the area will now normally be issued on 99 year leases regardless of its intended use. Companies will need to acquire outline planning permission prior to being leased the land. Any company that already holds a legal agreement to convert to Freehold will be honoured. A longer-term policy for all areas of commercial land disposal will now be completed next year once work on the Town Plan and the Infrastructure Development Plan have been completed.
In the 2014/15 Budget, FIG agreed to allocate £500,000 towards the development of an all weather sports field with the expectation that the Community would contribute the balance of funding needed to see this project completed. The hope is that this will be on the existing sports field in front of the Community School. The make up of a Steering Group has been agreed and they will appoint a Project Manager. This type of arrangement has worked extremely well for the new Museum. The intention is that the surface chosen will be suitable for as many sorts as possible and for use by the Schools.
We then looked at a paper from the Telecoms Working Group looking at ways we could progress the service in the coming years. We agreed that a detailed strategic review be undertaken and that this be put out to tender. This will better inform us of the possibilities available in the market in this rapidly developing field. This work will then inform the Government in relation to any new licensing arrangement that may exist in the future.
Next paper was a brief introduction to the review of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Bill and the Criminal Law Bill. This is a huge piece of work and Members and Officers will be going through it line by line in a number of meetings of the select committee after the recess. Once completed we will have up-to-date laws in this area and Members expressed their thanks for all the work the AG and his staff have done to get us to this point.
We then approved the recommendation that the Financial Secretary have the power to Waive fees for anything less than £1,000 if there is a good reason to do so. This followed a paper that came to EXCO a few months ago asking that charges for the export and import of firearms be waived for competitors attending the Commonwealth Games.
We then had the pleasure of agreeing an application for Falkland Island Status.
Our final paper was an update from the Director of Natural Resources on progress on review of the ITQ system. Matters are progressing well, with no detail reported at this stage however.